What is NewSQL?


NewSQL is a modern relational database system that bridges the gap between SQL and NoSQL. NewSQL databases aim to scale and stay consistent.

NoSQL databases scale while standard SQL databases are consistent. NewSQL attempts to produce both features and find a middle ground. As a result, the database type solves the problems in big data fields.

This article gives an outline of NewSQL databases and their features.

What Is NewSQL?

What is NewSQL?

NewSQL is a unique database system that combines ACID compliance with horizontal scaling. The database system strives to keep the best of both worlds. OLTP-based transactions and the high performance of NoSQL combine in a single solution.

Enterprises expect high-quality of data integrity on large data volumes. When either becomes a problem, an enterprise chooses to:

Both solutions are expensive on both a software and hardware level. NewSQL strives to improve these faults by creating consistent databases that scale.

NewSQL Database Features

The main features of NewSQL databases are:

  • In-memory storage and data processing supply fast query results.
  • Partitioning scales the database into units. Queries execute on many shards and combine into a single result.
  • ACID properties preserve the features of RDBMS.
  • Secondary indexing results in faster query processing and information retrieval.
  • High availability due to the database replication mechanism.
  • A built-in crash recovery mechanism delivers fault tolerance and minimizes downtime.

Difference Between SQL, NoSQL, and NewSQL

The table outlines the main differences between SQL, NoSQL, and NewSQL features.

SchemaRelational (table)Schema-freeBoth
SQLYesDepends on the systemYes, with enhanced features
OLTPPartial supportNot supportedFull support
High availabilityCustomAutoBuilt-in
QueriesLow complexity queriesHigh complexity queriesBoth

Best NewSQL Databases

Below is a run-through of the best NewSQL databases currently on the market. The list is not extensive, so research further if you plan to use one of the databases.


VoltDB works well with high-speed transactional applications. The database performs in-memory processing on a distributed architecture. The software is available as both open source and proprietary.

Key features:

  • Real-time decision-making.
  • Support for Kafka import and export.
  • Disaster recovery through database replication.
  • Hadoop and OLAP export integration.
VoltDB NewSQL database logo


CockroachDB is a scalable and robust database. The database offers strong data consistency and works well with low-latency resources.

Key features:

  • Robust disaster recovery system.
  • Historical data view, record, and storage options.
  • Built-in cleaning processes for disks and storage devices.
  • CockroachDB works in unfavorable conditions.
CockroachDB NewSQL database logo


NuoDB is a geo-distributed database with flexible scaling for various geographic locations. The database maps data across various points while staying ACID compliant.

Key features:

  • High-quality data transformations.
  • Always available with online schema evolutions and rolling upgrades.
  • Tailored features for data storage and control.
  • Full ACID transaction support.
NuoDB NewSQL database logo


ClustrixDB is a self-managing NewSQL database. The software automates scaling operations and supports high availability.

Key features:

  • Efficient data categorization.
  • SQL code migration options.
  • Built-in health metrics in a browser interface.
  • DevOps assistance and query caching.
ClustrixDB NewSQL database logo


Altibase is an in-memory database with a hybrid architecture. The database reduces hardware and software costs by combining in-memory data processing with an on-disk DBMS with a single license. Altibase comes in both community and proprietary versions.

Key Features

  • Memory-optimized engine for increased speeds.
  • Custom persistence and performance balance levels.
  • Flexible deployment options.
  • Real-time access to vital data.
Altibase NewSQL database logo


After reading this article, you know about different NewSQL databases and what they offer. The database combines features from NoSQL and SQL to create a new database system.

Next, learn about the various NoSQL database modeling methods.

Was this article helpful?
Milica Dancuk
Milica Dancuk is a technical writer at phoenixNAP with a passion for programming. With a background in Electrical Engineering and Computing, coupled with her teaching experience, she excels at simplifying complex technical concepts in her writing.
Next you should read
What is a Multi-Model Database?
April 29, 2021

Multi-model databases combine different database models into a single backend system. Learn about the use-cases and what...
Read more
What Is a Distributed Database?
May 6, 2021

Distributed databases are a solution for various issues that arise when using a centralized database. Learn about...
Read more
MySQL Performance Tuning and Optimization Tips
April 25, 2024

The performance of MySQL databases is an essential factor in the optimal operation of...
Read more
Big Data Servers Explained
August 19, 2021

Big data servers are servers specifically made for collecting and analyzing unstructured and constantly expanding data from...
Read more